With a new, citizen-focused government website, release of open datasets and proactive posting of freedom of information requests and government expenses, B.C. has become a national leader in open government, said Premier Christy Clark.
"We are changing our approach to governing by putting citizens at the centre of our web services and making government data and information more freely available," said Premier Clark. "Open government is about sharing information and giving British Columbians more opportunities to participate in decisions that make a difference in their lives."
The B.C. government website, www.gov.bc.ca, has been redesigned to focus on frequently used services, making it easier for families and businesses to find the services they are looking for. The website features DataBC, a new open data site, and Open Information, an information release site as part of government's commitment to be more connected, open and responsive.
B.C. is the first provincial government to create a site like DataBC (www.data.gov.bc.ca) - a catalogue of nearly 2,500 sets of data that, over time, will increase as new datasets become available. This data is free, searchable and available for anyone to use and repurpose.
A broad range of datasets are available, such as birth rates, carbon emissions statistics and information on schools. Opening up this information will help people make informed decisions, conduct research, analyze statistics and develop applications.
Also beginning today, the B.C. government will proactively release information requested through Freedom of Information (FOI). Information released through the FOI process will be posted on the new Open Information website (www.openinfo.gov.bc.ca) at least 72 hours and up to a maximum of five days after being released to the applicant.
Ministers' and deputy ministers' travel expenses will also be posted monthly to the Open Information website as these are items regularly requested and released through the FOI process.
To support these changes, the Premier and Members of the Executive Council have issued a direction to all ministries that outline how government will continue to build on its commitments.
"Together, these websites and the work behind them are an integral and necessary part of government delivering on our commitment to be more open and accessible," said Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Minister Stephanie Cadieux. "With today's announcement we become national leaders and I assure you there's more to come."
To learn more, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca